We did the math. Betty and I have known each other more than 67 years, longer than I have known my own sister!
Betty and I do not recall life without each other. We grew up at opposite ends of the oil and cinder paved block in Moline, Illinois. Our birthdays were one week apart at the end of the year, making us along with neighbor Gary, three of the youngest students in the class.
We were opposite: she tall, lanky, and blond. I was short, full but not yet plump, and brunette. Our parents were older than other parents and promoted similar Midwest values of hard work, church, and humility. Our childhood was spent sharing houses, vacations, and families. Whenever she ran away from home, she ran to our house. I knew better than to run to hers. Betty bemoaned adolescent difficulties stemming from her adoption as a child. I bemoaned similar angst as the result of not being adopted.
In a coincidence of life, we lived in Germany for a short time when our children were young. Her son threw up in my car as he came to visit us. Betty came and sat with my younger daughter when my other daughter was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy.
Now we both live in Arizona although several hours apart. This past weekend, we met in Flagstaff. Our husbands endured our recall of shared experiences and family quirks. We laughed, compared stories of aging, and explored our mutual interest in writing.
Inseparable is not a word I would apply to our friendship. Removing the thread of our relationship would not untangle my life, but it would certainly leave a gaping hole.
Thanks, Betty. Love you!